Dutch Design Week 2018: Can digital fashion change the way we consume?
In Pursuit of Tactility by PMS Studio, Eindhoven
Utrecht – In Pursuit of Tactility is a multifaceted installation designed by Utrecht-based PMS Studio, which aims to address overconsumption in the fashion industry.
Presented at Dutch Design Week 2018, the installation features a combination of 3D photography, animation, virtual reality and reactive soundscapes to replicate typical clothing characteristics such as texture, movement and touch in digital form. Each stage of the installation is designed to gradually introduce visitors to the idea that fashion can become a fully digitised industry, if we can redefine the tactility now associated with clothing.
The first introductory stage is a fabric expo featuring digital renderings of textiles printed on Plexiglass. These realistic forms are designed to ‘invoke the brain to visualise what it thinks is a tangible material’, without the sensation of touch. The next stage is a fabric animation that emulates the movement of real fabrics, pushing viewers to participate the installation’s final section – a VR experience featuring PMS Studio’s complete digital fashion collection. The lack of physical garments is compensated by audio feedback when viewers interact with the VR garments, creating a new way to digitally ‘touch’ and perceive the fabric.
Digital Gratification is becoming increasingly prominent in the fashion industry, as designers provide new methods to enjoy clothing in the digital realm.
Healthy snacks with a surrealist aesthetic
New York – Dada Daily is a new snack brand with an art-inspired aesthetic that injects creativity into healthy eating.
The brand was launched by Claire Olshan, the founder of Manhattan fashion boutique Fivestory, who found that wellness-orientated foods tended to follow one of two design cues: hippy or minimalist. To offer a new perspective, she has launched a line of vegan snacks that take inspiration from the surrealist Dada art movement.
The snacks, which include Schisandra Chocolate Truffles, Hot Turmeric Cabbage Petals and eye-shaped Matcha Latte Truffles, each highlight a key superfood ingredient and come in packaging decorated with Dadaist illustrations. Complementing the range, Olshan has also designed an acrylic head that can be used for in-store merchandising of the snacks or as decorative storage.
As explored in our Design Direction Future Foodscapes, brands are elevating food through abstract presentation and packaging that challenges traditional aesthetics.
These smart objects don’t require electricity
Washington – Researchers have created 3D-printed plastic objects that can track their own use without the need for a circuit or battery.
The team at the University of Washington have embedded antennas in objects such as pill bottles and prosthetics. The antennas are activated when the object is moved, for example when a pill bottle is opened or closed, creating signals that show when and how the object was used.
In the case of pill bottles, such systems may be used as assistive technologies that remind healthcare patients to take their daily medication. The user’s data can then be monitored without the need for electronics or a wi-fi connection.
At a time when people are increasingly exposed to smart devices, these objects demonstrate how brands could replace complicated technology with simpler, functional designs. For more on the future of intelligent materials, read our Viewpoint with MIT's Self-Assembly Lab's Skylar Tibbits.
3d Printed Plastic objects by the University of Washington
Dyson is revolutionising haircare
Airwrap by Dyson
UK – The engineering company has launched the Airwrap, a styling tool that uses aviation aerodynamics to curl hair.
In a similar way to Dyson’s Supersonic hair dryer, the product makes use of the Coanda Effect – the phenomenon that causes aeroplanes to lift. High-pressure air is driven through six slots in a cylindrical barrel before flowing in a circular motion and creating a mini vortex. Through this process, the Airwrap can easily curl hair without going above 300°C.
The styling tool costs £449.99 ($580, €510) and works best when hair is 85% dry, with the ambition that it will speed up the time spent in salons or styling at home.The Airwrap is also being positioned as a positive alternative to curling hair with straightening irons, which is linked to hair damage.
Stat: US divorce rate falls amid Millennial marriages
According to a study by University of Maryland sociologist Philip Cohen, the percentage of American marriages that end in divorce fell by 18% between 2008 and 2016.
Although fewer Millennials have been opting to marry, with the number of marriages declining across almost all OECD countries, Cohen believes that those who do get married tend to be more stable. ‘We see [Millennials] getting married at older ages, people getting married with college degrees already,’ says Cohen. ‘They are less likely to be already divorced or have children when they get married, both of which are risk factors for divorce.’
With fewer marriages and fewer divorces, family structures are in a state of flux. For more on what the family of the future could look like see our Far Futures series.
Thought-starter: Diversity is crucial to the design sector’s future
With UK schools reducing their focus on creativity, Kelly Mackenzie, founder of White Bear Studio, says it’s time for the design industry to step up.
From the end of exam season in 2018, the attainment of each UK school will be based on its average EBacc score. Why does this matter? Because the EBacc is a combination of subjects chosen at GCSE level by students, and these combinations don’t include any creative subjects. With schools under pressure to keep their average ranking up, naturally efforts and funding will be skewed towards non-creative subjects.
So, as schools shift their attention to EBacc subjects, who or what will this affect? Arguably, the biggest impact will be on those from disadvantaged and minority areas, where funding is tighter and pressure is being applied to get a good school average.
Critically, this will lead to a lack of future diversity in the creative sector – something it is already suffering from. If we don’t work at making the design industry more inclusive, its future output will suffer. Less diversity equals less depth of understanding, insight and cultural knowledge.